Friday 23 December 2022

Latest Irish releases to check out over the festive period

Well here it is, Merry Christmas, and to help you survive the festive season, I've gathered some of this month's latest releases of records and videos plus some recent podcasts. Dig in and enjoy. IrishGenealogyNews will be back in early January 2023.

Ireland, Licences To Keep Arms 1832-1836: This Parliamentary report holds the details of 6,352 individuals who were granted licences for firearms and swords by county magistrates at the Quarter Sessions Courts across the island from 1 August 1832 during the years stated. The records note names and residences of the licencees, the type of weapon (guns, pistols, carbines, blunderbusses, swords and bayonets) and the name and address of the county magistrate who approved their licence application. See sample image below.

Northern Ireland, Wills and Administrations, Index, 1621–1858: This collection contains will and administration records from various Dioceses of The Church of Ireland in the six counties that now make up Northern Ireland. The vast majority of the 75,722 records date between 1621 and 1858 and typically contain the name of the deceased, the date and place when the will was signed, probated or administered by letter or by bond. Some records contain the residence of the individual and date of death.

Newspaper BMD announcements (Co. Clare): Part of the Lord Dunboyne collection, 1824–1878, these birth, marriage and death notices span 1824–1855, 1852–1854 and 1850–1855 respectively and were published in The Clare Journal, Limerick Chronicle, The Times, The Clare Freeman, Dublin Evening Mail and the Freeman's Journal. The collection was created by Theobald Fitz-Walter Butler, Lord Dunboyne (1806–1881) and has been transcribed by volunteers and indexed by County Clare Library staff.

Donegal local authority minutes: Donegal County Archives has been busy in the rundown to Christmas, digitising and releasing more of its Urban District and Rural District Councils Minute Books from the Revolutionary period in the early 1900s. During December the following were released: the Letterkenny Urban Council's Minutes 1922 and 1923; Buncrana Urban District Council's Minutes 1913–1916; Bundoran Urban District Council Minutes 1914-1926, and Londonderry No.2 Rural District Council Minutes (covering Burt/Killea/Bridgend & south #Inishowen area of Co. Donegal), 1899–1908. All available in pdf format and free to download. – is a brand new website that's been developed by Ciara Chivers of Shamrock Roots to help genealogists make the most of an excellent but underused resource: the Journal of the Journal of the Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead in Ireland, which is also known as the Journal of the Irish Memorials Association. The journal was published from 1888 to 1934 and is a treasure trove of headstone inscriptions, many of which can no longer be read or have simply disappeared, but its rewards are notoriously hard won. Memsdead aims to guide you to a greater understanding of the resource, and provides researchers with tools to overcome its difficulties.

PRONI YouTube videos: In the last few weeks, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland has released videos of a number of lectures presented earlier in the year and of interest to genealogists and social historians. Among them is the launch presentation for the online registers for Indoor Relief to the Belfast Workhouse 1892-1921 (BG7/GK); Olympic and Aquitania: Eyeing Up the Competition; The Uses and Abuses of Magic in Modern British and Irish History; and Demonised: 'The Islandmagee Witches, 1711' Project; and Researching armed forces in the 19th and 20th centuries; Records at The National Archives.

Irish History Podcast: This podcast is produced by historian and archaeologist Fin Dwyer and now has a huge library available to enjoy. His last two recordings for 2022 made great listening: A Slum City - Life & Death in Late Victorian Dublin and A Lost Town in the Wicklow Mountains.

IrishGenPod: The Irish GenPod is published by Senior Times magazine (the organisers of the Back To Our Past show) and sees professional genealogist Paul Gorry, FIGRS MAGI interviewing people working in Ireland's genealogy services, archives and related fields. In the autumn series (nos 5–8) he interviews Tom McGrath, author of Unspoken; Susan Hood, archivist of the RCB Library; Andrew and Johathan Martin of the Irish Newspaper Archives; and Steven Smyrl, professional genealogist, campaigner, historian and author.

Thursday 22 December 2022

England, Scotland & Wales genealogy updates: 2-week summary

Below is a summary of newly released and updated family history record collections for England, Scotland and Wales from the major genealogy databases. (Previous summary, 9 December.)

My regular summary of releases and updates relating to British collections is designed to help family historians whose Irish ancestors migrated, temporarily or permanently, to England, Scotland or Wales.

By default, it will also be useful to anyone carrying out research in those three nations, regardless of the origin of their ancestors.

The figures in parenthesis in the New Collections section are the numbers of records/images in the new record set.

Unless otherwise stated, the figures in parenthesis in the Updated Collections section reflect the number of records added to the collection in the recent update. In some instances, the supplier has not made this figure available. Where two figures are given, the first is the number of additions, the second is the new total.

Please note that I don't usually include updates of fewer than 1,000 records.



BritishNewspaperArchive (and shared with FindMyPast)
  • New titles in main collection ($£€)






Some of the above content contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission if you buy via these links. This does not affect the price you pay as a consumer, but it does contribute to keeping Irish Genealogy News online. See Advertising Disclosure tab above.

Wednesday 21 December 2022

Christmas and New Year closures at major Irish genealogy venues

Below are the planned opening and closing times of the main genealogy repositories over the Christmas 2022 and New Year 2023 period. They're all subject to change, so if you're travelling any distance, check the venue's website or, better, phone.

Republic of Ireland

DCL&A and all Dublin City Libraries will be closed from Christmas Eve to 2 January inclusive. Reopening 3 January.

Royal Irish Academy: Library closed from Saturday 24 December until Monday 9 January 2023 at 10am inclusive.

National Library of Ireland: Reading Room and Exhibitions closed from 5pm on Friday 23 December until 9:30am (10am for Seamus Heaney) on Tuesday 3 January.

National Archives of Ireland: Reading Room closed from 5pm Friday 23 December until 10am Tuesday 3 January.

General Register Office: Research Room closed from Friday 23 December to Monday 2 January inclusive. Email service will be available Friday 23 December, Wednesday 28, Thursday 29 and Friday 30 December. Normal service from Tuesday 3 January.

Local County and Branch Libraries: Most appear to be closed from Saturday 24 December to Tuesday 3 January but some are opening for just one day during that period. Check with each venue.

RCB Library:The Church of Ireland library and archive has unexcpectedly had to close its doors on Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 December. It will be open, 9:30am to 1pm only on Friday 23 December and will not re-open until Tuesday 3 January.

Northern Ireland

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI): Closed Monday 26 to Wednesday 28 December. Open Thursday 29 and Friday 30 December. Closed Monday 2 January. Returns to regular hours on Tuesday 3 January at 9am.

General Register Office of Northern Ireland (GRONI): Closed Monday 26 to Wednesday 28 December. Open Thursday 29 and Friday 30 December. Closed Monday 2 January. Returns to regular hours at 9:30am on Tuesday 3 January.

NILibraries / Local County and Branch Libraries: From Monday 19 to Friday 23 December inclusive, all libraries will close at 5pm. From Saturday 24 December to Monday 2 January 2023 inclusive, all libraries will be closed.

England & Wales

The National Archives, Kew, London: Closed Saturday 24 to Wednesday 28 December inclusive. Open Thursday 29 December and Friday 30 December. Closed Monday 2 January. Reopening Tuesday 3 January.

National Library of Wales: Closed from Saturday 24 December 2022 to Monday 2 January inclusive. Reopens 9am on Tuesday 3 January


National Library of Scotland: Closed Saturday 24 to Tuesday 27 December inclusive. Open Wednesday 28 to Friday 30 December with revised hours. Closed Saturday 31 December to Tuesday 3 January inclusive. Reopening Wednesday 4 January.

Tuesday 20 December 2022

A bundle of Xmas gifts from Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives

An exciting mixed bundle of photos and records has been delivered early this festive season from Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives. It holds some real gems that may just knock down a brick wall for some lucky researchers.

Sample section from rental documents of
teneants of Marcus Goodbody, dated 1893.
Discovered in letter to Lawrence Mealy of
Tristernagh Demesne, ancestor of the
Contributor. Photo courtesy IGPArchives.

As always, these gifts come from volunteers who freely donate their time by tramping over graveyards, pencil and camera in hand, or passing on their own discoveries in the possibility and hope that their contributions will help other family historians learn more about their Irish ancestors. Why not consider becoming part of this team in the new year or even over the holiday?

Here are this month's additions to the free IGP Archives website:

CORK Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Killeagh Old Part 3 (Finished)

FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Church of the Holy Trinity (CoI), Pt 4, Lisnaskea

MEATH Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Colmcille Graveyard, Kells
St. Ultans, Ardbraccan, H-N. Text File added

TYRONE Genealogy Archives - Miscellaneous & Military
Church of Ireland Rectors
Muster Roll, Strabane Barony, Sir Geo Hamilton c1630
Militia Infantry, Royal Tyrone Fusiliers – Hart's Annual Army List 1876 & 1881

WESTMEATH Genealogy Archives - Land
Tenants of Marcus Goodbody, Tristernagh townland, 1893

Thursday 15 December 2022

Irish Registry of Deeds Archive joins Digital Repository of Ireland

The Property Registration Authority (PRA), which manages the Registry of Deeds in Dublin and cares for its priceless collection, is the latest new member of the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI).

Readers of IrishGenealogyNews will be aware that the Registry of Deeds Archive Services has embarked on a long-term programme of digitisation of its collection, one of Ireland's most precious sources for genealogists.

It includes parchment memorials, Transcription Books, Indexes of townlands and names of grantors, Abstract Books, microfilms and administrative records. In total, the archive holds more than 5million memorials and 17,000 bound volumes. (You can find out more about the collection, which dates to 1708, here.)

Joining the DRI is an important part of this process, as Ellen Murphy, Archive Manager of the PRA, explains: The PRA are delighted to become members of the DRI as we look to scale up our programme of digitisation at the Registry of Deeds in the coming years. Membership of DRI will give us a sustainable, best-practice solution for managing preservation quality digital surrogates, as well as access to experts in the field of digital curation."

Wednesday 14 December 2022

TipperaryStudies releases Revision Books for North Tipperary

Tipperary Studies, the local studies department of the county's Library Service, has released the first instalment of its project to digitise the Cancelled Valuation Books / Revision Books for the 75 District Electoral Divisions (DEDs) in North Tipperary.

Click to view enlarged image

This first tranche sees 57 volumes covering 23 DEDs uploaded to the Tipperary Studies Digital Archive. They date from 1902 to 1917 and can be used to trace the occupiers of a particular property over a period of years. (For more information about the genealogical value of Valuation Revision Books, see this dedicated page on my website, Irish Genealogy Toolkit.)

The DEDs covered in this release* are Abington (3 vols); Ballycahill (3); Borrisnafarney (2); Borrisnoe (2); Bourney East (3); Bourney West (3); Finnoe (2); Foilnamon (3); Holycross (2); Inch (3); Killavinoge (2); Killea (3); Killoscully (3); Kilnarath (2); Kilrush (2); Littleton (3); Longfordpass (2); Moycarkey (2); Moyne (2); Rathnaveoge (2); Templederry (3); Thurles Rural (3); Timoney (2).

The Tipperary Studies digitisation team is now working on the remaining 52 DEDs in its collection. It hopes to have the second batch ready for release in late spring 2023.

For privacy purposes, only volumes produced up to 1921 will currently be made available online. However, revision books up to the 1960s are available to personal visitors to Tipperary Studies, which is based at The Source Library, Cathedral Street, Thurles.

Please note that Tipperary Studies does not hold the Cancelled Valuation Books for South Tipperary.

* The number of volumes for each DED is shown in brackets.

New edition of Irish Genealogy Matters newsletter published

The winter edition of the Irish Family History Foundation's newsletter Irish Genealogy Matters has been published.

It carries news and developments from around its island-wide network of local genealogy and heritage centres, with details of some products (think gifts, books, courses etc) to tickle the fancy of family historians, and festive events.

It also provides a summary of recent additions to the database, as well as a teaser for another bundle of records expected to be released before New Year is rung in.

Irish Genealogy Matters is free to download by clicking the image, right.

Two new Irish titles as BritishNewspaperArchive tots up 61m pages

The, which this morning held a total of 61,170,843 digitised pages of historical British and Irish newspapers, has added another couple of Irish titles. They are:

Dublin Sporting News:  The online holding when completely digitised will span 1889–1901. So far, editions published in the first five years of that period are available to search and view. While published in Dublin, the paper carried news and results from England, Scotland and Wales, and included 'Prophesies' from pundits at the big daily national papers. It covers many sports but horse-racing and coursing seem to dominate. The masthead is great... see below.

Dublin Advertising Gazette: The masthead of this paper described its contents as A Record of Trade, Property, Insurance, Railway and Shipping Intelligence but its adverts, which feature across the bulk of the four-page editions, are for a much wider range of life's essentials, including accommodation, tuition, pipes and tobacco, upcoming theatrical productions, homeware and clothing. The paper was published on Wednesdays as a freesheet and was in circulation from 1858–1877.

The entire holding of the BNA is shared with its sister database FindMyPast where all the titles are available to those with a PRO or PREMIUM subscription.

The masthead of the Dublin Sporting News in 1899.

Tuesday 13 December 2022

1926 Census of Ireland digitisation project: Tenders requested

Less than one month since state funding was confirmed for the digitisation and release of the 1926 Census of Ireland (see blogpost), the second step has been taken in the process that will deliver census returns relating to 2,971,992 individuals to our computer screens. (It's real. It's real. Hang out the bunting.)

On Monday, (the Irish Government’s electronic tendering platform) issued a Request to Tender from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. 

A supplier of Programme Management Services is sought to provide the necessary management and co-ordination from the development of a comprehensive project plan, through procurement of specialist contractors, budget control, monitoriing and evaluation, and liaison with the steering group, to the management of a pre-release programme of public engagement and then final delivery. Full requirements of the project can be read on eTenders. Supplier specifications can be obtained by those who register an interest. 

See the detailed tender here.

The deadline for potential suppliers to submit tenders is midday on 27 January 2023.

Friday 9 December 2022

New and updated genealogy records for England, Scotland & Wales

Below is a summary of newly released and updated family history record collections for England, Scotland and Wales from the major genealogy databases. (Previous summary, 27 November.)

My regular summary of releases and updates relating to British collections is designed to help family historians whose Irish ancestors migrated, temporarily or permanently, to England, Scotland or Wales.

By default, it will also be useful to anyone carrying out research in those three nations, regardless of the origin of their ancestors.

The figures in parenthesis in the New Collections section are the numbers of records/images in the new record set.

Unless otherwise stated, the figures in parenthesis in the Updated Collections section reflect the number of records added to the collection in the recent update. In some instances, the supplier has not made this figure available. Where two figures are given, the first is the number of additions, the second is the new total.

Please note that I don't usually include updates of fewer than 1,000 records.


BritishNewspaperArchive, shared with some FindMyPast subs (nearly 61 million+ pages)
  • Echo (London) | Leighton Buzzard on Sunday | Sunday Mail (Glasgow) | Northwich Chronicle | Wembley News | Daily Dispatch (Manchester) | Nottingham Evening News | Football Mail (Portsmouth) | Clapham Observer | Leicester Advertiser | Macclesfield Times | Daily Post (Wales) | South London Observer | Southwark and Bermondsey Recorder | Greenford & Northolt Gazette | Croydon Express








Some of the above content contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission if you buy via these links. This does not affect the price you pay as a consumer, but it does contribute to keeping Irish Genealogy News online. See Advertising Disclosure tab above.

Wednesday 7 December 2022

More Roman Catholic records for RootsIreland's Co. Kerry database

Dropping into the database today is another small but welcome bundle of Roman Catholic baptism and marriage records from County Kerry. They total 3,295 records and are from the parish of Prior (variant name Ballinskelligs), as follows:

  • Prior baptisms, 1850-1899 (2,500 records)
  • Prior marriages, 1850-1899 (795 records).

The registers for this coastal parish have not been imaged by the National Library of Ireland.

See an up to date list of online sources for County Kerry here. To search the records, click the logo above and then login or subscribe* as necessary.

* RootsIreland is currently offering a 25% discount to new and existing subscribers. It expires on 10 December.

Tuesday 6 December 2022

A History of St James 's Church & Graveyard, Dublin: free pdf

Genealogist, lecturer and historian Sean J Murphy has made available for free download an e-book version of A History of St James’s Church and Graveyard, Dublin. The paper book is now out of print.

Click the image to learn more and download a copy

The book includes parallel histories of the Protestant and Catholic Parishes of St James and features appendices listing both ministers and priests. There is also much new research contained in the book, including:

  • a chapter on St James and Compostela
  • the fact that Dr Pearse Lyons, who funded and brought to fruition a project to restore and convert the decaying old church into the new Pearse Lyons Distillery and Visitor Centre, which opened in 2018, was born in Inchicore, Co Dublin, and not in Dundalk as originally thought
  • that about 100,000 people are buried in St James's Graveyard, mostly Catholics
  • and that the burials include Sir John Trail, architect of Kilmainham Gaol, James Power, founder of Power's Distillery, and nine members of Dr Lyons's family.

Most importantly for researchers, the book also provides practical guidance for those who wish to check if someone is buried in St James's Graveyard.

Nine decades of the Representative Church Body Library

The Representative Church Body Library (RCB Library) reached the grand age of 90 earlier in 2022 and rounds off its nine decades as the Church of Ireland's archive and library with a look back and a look forward in this month's Archive of the Month.

The only interior photograph known to survive of the original
RCB Library as it was at Church House, 52 St Stephen’s Green.
(Church of Ireland Gazette, 3 April 1970)

The story dates back to the days leading to Christmas 1931, when Rosamond Stephen (1868-1952) founder and original librarian of the Irish Guild of Witness library, recorded the despatch of some 5,000 volumes housed within her home on Upper Mount Street, Dublin to no. 52 St Steven's Green.

This was the HQ of the Representative Church Body – the Church of Ireland’s central trustee body.

She wrote: ‘They went properly through the streets drawn by a fine pair of cart horses. R.S. watched them vanish into the mist.'

Prior to its time in Dublin and eventual association with the RCB, the original content of Rosamond’s library had been in existence from 1903 operating on the Crumlin Road in Belfast.

The online Archive of the Month presentation tracks the journey from Belfast to Dublin, and explores how the new Library acquired oversight of archives and record-keeping on behalf of the RCB following the loss of many records that had been in the Public Records Office of Ireland in 1922 when over 500 collections of parish records, together with the medieval and early modern diocesan archives, were destroyed.

Portrait of Rosamond Emily Stephen in her 24th year by her
sister, DJ [Dorothea] Stephen, 1892. RCB Library Collection

An important early remit for the fledgling library was to focus on collecting copies of manuscripts concerning the Church of Ireland that had been lost.

This far-sighted approach has reaped many rewards for the Church at large, and today in addition to its printed collection of over 60,000 volumes, it holds vast archives.

These include some 1,132 collections of parish records together with the archives of the Church’s dioceses, cathedrals, architectural drawings, the administrative records of the Representative Church Body and its multiple committees, and thousands of manuscripts relating to the Church’s people, buildings and activities, spanning from medieval times to the present.

Monday 5 December 2022

Irish genealogy, history and heritage events, 5 to 31 December 2022

As the year end approaches, this post will be the final listing for 2022. If necessary, I'll update this list as December rolls on.

Monday 5 December to Friday 9 December inclusive: Closures. Reading Room of the National Archive of Ireland, Dublin, closed for Media Preview. Reopening Monday 12 December. Similar at Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Belfast, where it is Preservation Week: No original materials available. Search Room open for microfilm viewing etc.

Monday 5 December: Local History on Film, with NI Screen. A hybrid event hosted by the North of Ireland Family History Society's Foyle Branch. In-person venue: Lecture Room, Derry’s Central Library, 35 Foyle Street, Derry, BT48 6AL. 7pm–8:30pm GMT. For online access, email the branch secretary at All welcome.

Monday 5 December: The Irish face of British politics: Irish agrarian violence, ultra-Tories, and the end of the Whig government, 1845-1841, with Dr Jay Roszman. A hybrid event hosted by Queen's University Belfast, Institute of Irish Studies. In-person venue: QUB, 27 University Square, Belfast BT7 1NN. Online via MS Teams. 4:30pm. Free. All welcome. Need to book.

Tuesday 6 December: Rebel Statesman: The Life and Times of WT Cosgrave, with Liz Gillis and Cathy Scuffil. Part of the Decade of Centenaries programme from South Dublin County. Hosted online by Ballyroan Library. 7pm to 8pm. Free. All welcome. Need to register.

Tuesday 6 December: The Decade of Commemoration: Sources & Legacies, an online event featuring lightning talks from archivists and librarians on projects undertaken during the Decade of Centenaries. Hosted by the Irish Society for Archives. Free. 6pm to 7:30pm. Need to register.

Wednesday 7 December: The Enigma of Arthur Griffith, with Colum Kenny. An in-person event hosted by Rathmichael Historical Society. Venue: Rathmichael School Hall, Stonebridge Road, Shankill, Co. Dublin. Doors oopen 7:30pm. Members free. Non-members €5. Includes light refreshments. Details.

Thursday 8 December: The Centenary of An Garda Síochanaon, with Dr Liam McNiffe. An in-person event hosted by Meath County Library. Venue: Oldcastle Library, Millbrook Rd, Knockmacoony, Oldcastle, Co. Meath 7pm. Free. All welcome. Need to book: tel 046-8542084 or email

Friday 9 December: Reading Room at the RCB Library in Churchtown, Dublin, closed from 2pm.

Monday 12 December: The realities of rural childhoods in modern Ireland: birth, life and death in 19th and 20th century County Donegal, with Megan McAuley. A hybrid event hosted by Offaly History. In-person: Offaly History, Bury Quay, Tullamore. With mince pies and tea. €2 members/€5 non-members. Online: email for free zoom access code. 8pm. All welcome.

Tuesday 13 December: Christmas in Lisburn through the years, an in-person talk with Aaron McIntyre. Host: North of Ireland Family History Society, Lisburn Branch. Venue: Bridge Community Centre, 50 Railway Street, Lisburn, County Down BT28 1XP. 7:30pm–9pm. All welcome.

Wednesday 14 December: Book Launch: Iarmhi, Journal of the Westmeath Archaeological and Historical Society, vol 2. An in-person event. Host: WAHS. Venue: The Greville Arms Hotel, Mullingar, Co Westmeath. 7:30pm. All welcome. Free.

Thursday 15 December: Main and Microfilm Reading Rooms closed from 1pm. National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. The Main and Microfilm Reading Rooms will be closed for an event on the afternoon of Thursday, 15th December, from 1pm. Other services, including the Manuscript Reading Room, Family History Room and ticket office, will remain open as usual.

Monday 19 December Tracing Your Ancestors Through Land Records, with Chris Paton. A hybrid meeting hosted by the North of Ireland Family History Society, Larne Branch. In-person venue: Larne Museum and Arts Centre 2 Victoria Road, Larne, Co Antrim. 7:15pm–8:45pm GMT. For online access, email Details. All welcome.

Tuesday 20 December: Ikerrin and the O'Mahers, with Dr Paul MacCotter. An in-person event and part of the Tipperary People and Places Lecture series no.16. Host: Tipperary Studies, the local history dept. of Tipperary County Librairies. 7pm. Free. Venue: Gallery of the Source Library, Thurles. Tea and coffeee served. All welcome. Details.

Friday 2 December 2022

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives: November updates

This headstone is in Holy Cross Cemetery, Athea,
Co Limerick. Photo courtesy of IGP Archives and
the photographer, Larry Kehoe.

The volunteer team for Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives has continued to work hard to bring us another bundle of headstone photos and transcriptions, all free to search.

The additions uploaded in November came from six burial grounds in six counties, as follows:

CAVAN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Patrick's R.C. Graveyard Part 3, Corlough

CORK Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Holy Rosary Cemetery Part 5, Midleton

DONEGAL Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Glenties New Graveyard Part 3, Inishkeel

KILDARE Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Confey Graveyard, Sections G, M & N

LIMERICK Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Holy Cross Cemetery Part 3, Athea

MEATH Genealogy Archives - Headstones
St. Ultans CoI Graveyard, Ardbraccan (Part 1) (Update)

Thursday 1 December 2022

Finding archival homes for CoI primary school records

A new policy has been introduced by the Representative Church Body Library to guide Church of Ireland primary schools in how to best keep and share archived information about their work and service. This follows lengthy discussions with all organisations involved, and in consultation with the Secretary of the General Synod Board of Education.

Miss Stella Greer’s class at Killeigh School, Co Offaly c1931
RCB Library P48.28.1

The document – A Policy for the Appropriate Custody of Primary School Records – has been produced with the aim of promoting awareness about the importance of primary school records and their value as a reference tool for a variety of legal, educational, historical and social purposes in the future, and seeks to ensure that the schools management take the correct steps to arrange and safeguard these materials.

This is particularly relevant where records have ceased to be used in the day-to-day administration of a school, or in circumstances where a school is due to close or has already closed.

While the RCB Library is concerned about the preservation of these records, the Library is not itself the custodian of primary school records and is not responsable for the long-term storage of such records.

The Library has, however, been in discussion with colleagues in the National Archives of Ireland and the Local Government Archivists and Records Managers (LGARM) Group representing archivists and records managers at local government level. LGARM has confirmed that it is happy to facilitate requests from any Board of Management or Patron of a Church of Ireland primary school wishing to deposit their collections in a local authority archive service, subject to available storage and these services being considered as the first place of deposit for these collections.

Each school is to be responsible for arranging the collection prior to its transfer to the local archive. For example, all registers, roll books, daily attendance books, District Inspector’s observation books, organiser’s observation books, and corporal punishment books could be sorted chronologically. LGARM members are particularly interested in acquiring any extant school photographs as these records can be made available without restriction.

Many local government archives have already been acquiring these collections for a number of years. In the case of local authorities with no archivist, the group recommends that the National Archives of Ireland might be considered as the temporary custodian of these collections until such time as a local authority archive has been established or that suitable storage has been identified.

The policy is available in the Parish Resources section of RCB Library, here.

Personal Injury Claims from Revolutionary Era for release in April

The National Archives of Ireland is starting work on a newly transferred collection that is expected to be of great interest to Irish genealogists when it is released next year.

The Compensation (Personal Injuries) Committee collection contains first hand accounts of physical injuries inflicted on members of the public – people of all ages, from all and no sides – as they were going about their daily lives. Some were deliberately targeted or shot. Others were accidentally caught in crossfire or bomb blasts.

The accounts also show the unseen effects of war from those who took their own lives or ended up in institutions, unable to forget the terrible events they had witnessed.

Speaking at the National Archives of Irelandy yesterday, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said: “The Financial Compensation Files give a previously unseen and perhaps unromantic ground level view of what were this country’s most formative years.

"What makes these files important is what they do not contain. The overwhelming majority of claims are from individuals otherwise unrecorded by history, the silent majority. The files give insight into not just well known events like Bloody Sunday and the shelling of the Four Courts, but also minor actions in every county of Ireland and places as far away as India.

"I have no doubt that when this collection is made available to the public next year that the stories within will be an invaluable source of social and personal histories for historians, academics as well as descendants and family members.”

Archive closures during early December

The National Archives of Ireland's Reading Room will closed from Monday 5 December to Friday 9 December inclusive. This is to facilitate the annual media preview.

The Church of Ireland's Library and Archive (RCBL) will be closed on the afternoons of Friday 2 December and Friday 9 December from 1pm, and on the morning of Wednesday 14 December from 9.30am – 2pm.

At PRONI, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Preservation Week will run from 5 December to 9 December 2022 and no original records will be accessible. The Reading Room will be closed but the Search Room will be open, including access to microfilm.